MICHIGAN — State leaders reacted to the U.S. Senate's decision to acquit former President Donald Trump on an impeachment article claiming he incited insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last month.
Sen. Gary Peters says it was "overwhelmingly clear" that the former president incited the violence on Jan. 6 after listening to the evidence brought forth during the impeachment trial. At the end of his statement, Peters says it's time to focus on combating COVID-19 and supporting people and businesses negatively affected by the pandemic.
Peters's full statement reads:
“As an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a U.S. Senator, I took an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution. After carefully listening to all the evidence presented in this trial, it is overwhelmingly clear that Donald Trump violated his oath of office by inciting a violent, deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol and our democracy.
“The facts show that Trump intentionally promoted false conspiracies — including here in Michigan — that provoked an assault on the peaceful transfer of power. The bipartisan vote to hold Trump accountable in both the House and the Senate reflects the gravity of his misconduct.
“My focus remains on the challenges that the Senate must address — first and foremost is the need for a robust COVID relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis Michigan is facing. We must provide more support to help struggling families and small businesses, speed up vaccine distribution, give resources to help schools safely reopen and help communities on the frontlines, so they are not forced to lay off health professionals, teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow says despite not reaching the two-thirds majority required to convict former President Trump, the vote will be remembered as "the largest bipartisan vote ever to hold a President accountable" for crimes under the U.S. Constitution. Stabenow also says it is time to move past the intense political climate witnessed in recent years and to seek compromise between political parties.
Stabenow's full statement reads:
“While the U.S. Senate did not achieve the two-thirds vote necessary to convict former President Donald Trump, this will go down in history as the largest bipartisan vote ever to hold a President accountable for High Crimes and Misdemeanors under our Constitution.
“Former President Donald Trump spent months pushing a big lie – that the November election was stolen from him. He inspired, encouraged, and incited a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in order to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote. And then he did nothing to stop the violence, which caused massive injury and loss of life.
“This wasn’t just an attack on a building. It was an attack on all of the people who work there. It was an attack on our form of government. It was an attack on our Constitution. It was an attack on We the People.
“This bipartisan vote sent an important message: In America, no President is above the law. And inciting violence against the government is illegal and dangerous.
“Now, as a nation, we must move forward. We must do everything we can to bring down the temperature of our debates, find common ground on issues we care about, and reduce the divide in our families and communities. And we must continue to strive for accountability and justice. Our democracy demands no less.”